Pentonville, April 12, 1813.
My dear Son, my Fellow Servant, and I hope honest and true yoke-fellow; Grace and truth be with thee.
TILL God raised thee up I stood alone with respect to yoke-fellows, having none that work the work of God as I do. But my God has stood by me, furnished, emboldened, and spoken by me; and, according to his promise, I "bring forth fruit in old age, to shew that the Lord is upright." London abounds with four sorts of labourers. - The first is the Arminian tribe these exalt the creature, and debase the Saviour's merit, and the grace of God in him. The next class are the arrogant and presumptuous: these preach up an assurance; but their confidence stands in the flesh, and not in the power of God. There -is a third set of men who seem to be pregnant with legal strife, terrors, wrath, and bitterness, as if the worm and the fire had already begun; these do all their work in a storm and tempest, and deal principally in hell and damnation. The fourth sort; such as Socinians and Arians, are employed by Satan to debase the king of Zion to the level of a mere creature, that their deluded followers may make flesh their arm, and in. their heart depart from God: in these the enemy and the avenger works mightily; having had his head bruised not by a creature, but by his great Creator, who he knows will be his judge and his executioner, and therefore asked him if he was come to torment him before the time. All these are enemies to God and his dear Son, and are firm in the devil's interest. No soul, that knows Christ's worth and loves his person, can ever speak lightly of him. - "0, my soul, come. not thou into their secret; unto their assembly; mine honour, be riot thou united;" for Satan sets them on, and they do his work, who knows the ruin of them all.
We have no language, of the wisdom of this world's teaching, sufficient to convey the knowledge of God to men; we must therefore use words which the Holy Ghost teacheth. The Deity in unity is set forth to us by the four following names. 1. Essence; "I am that I am." Eternal self-existence is essence in the highest sense of that word. 2. Nature; "When ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods," Gal. iv. 8. Again, partakers of the divine nature; so the Holy Spirit is called, 2 Peter i. 4. 3. Substance.
God himself is our portion, our shield, and our exceeding great reward. - "I will cause them that love me to inherit substance," Proverbs viii. 21."In heaven an enduring substance," Heb. x. 34. 4. Godhead, Acts xvii. 29; Rom. i. 29; Col. ii. 9. Godhead or Godship; self possession of perfections' which are peculiar to the most high God. In this essence, substance, or Godhead, are three persons, equal in glory and majesty; so that, if one is a person, the other two must be so likewise. Just person Matt. xxvii. 24. Person of Christ, 2 Cor. ii. 10. Express image of the Father's person, Heb. i. 3. You must not confound the person, by putting one for the other; for neither the first person nor the third became incarnate, but the second. Nor must we divide the substance, for this is making a plurality of gods. Each person is a distinct witness; "I bear witness of myself," and "the Father beareth witness of me" and "we are witnesses of these things, and so also is the Holy Ghost," which God hath given to them that obey him; by faith we come to Jesus the Mediator, and by love to God the Judge of all, and by Abba, Father, "the Spirit is known in us. Here the Arian can do nothing. Let all that love not our dear Lord be anathema maranatha.
Joseph, my son, farewell. My love to all the saints.
W. H. S. S.